The blog in which I have a ton of realizations but no real answers

This weekend I played tennis twice in one day. And not that I went out on the court twice in the same trip. Moonshine and I actually went to play tennis, I won, she got discouraged. We did this:

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Then we went home and I asked if she wanted to go back. There was only one court we could find that wasn’t completely covered with snow and it was not that close. So ask me how my old buddy Arthur Itis Knees is doing today. Not great. I was so sore last night it wasn’t even funny. But Moonshine has her first tennis match this Wednesday and they’ve only been able to do gym practices because of the snow.

I realized something this morning when Tenderheart, who’s almost 13! couldn’t heat up her own breakfast sandwich that you really do raise your kids differently no matter how hard you try not to. I try not to compare, but by the time Sunshine was 11 she was watching Moonshine and Tenderheart while I was in my home office working my other job. She’s always been the responsible one. Then I realized as Moonshine was on a step stool in the garage with a drill helping me hang hooks so we could hang bikes that she’s the most helpful and handy. And I also realized that I am the problem.

The other day I was talking to someone about how different my kids were at each age and then I actually said, “My little one…” and that’s when it hit me that I’m the problem. She’s almost 13, I should probably stop calling her “My little one”. She’s not little. She’s almost as tall as me and can’t do anything for herself. We had to tell her last summer that she has to wash behind her ears. I have done a huge disservice by letting her get out of things because she doesn’t want to do them. She should have been out there with the drill hanging hooks.

One of the problems, though, is that she gets an attitude every time I ask her to do things. I might be that way too. The second problem is I don’t ignore that attitude and make her do it anyway. Who cares if she gets an attitude, just unload the damn dishwasher. But I’ve babied her and now I’m the one who’s being punished. I keep thinking that there’s going to be a time when Sunshine and Moonshine have left the nest and the only bird left is going to be Tenderheart and then the dread sets in.

Moonshine said something completely offensive yesterday. Not rude, just inappropriate. And when I said, “I can’t believe you just said that”; she said, “You raised me!“. And in that moment I realized that she’s right, I’m the common denominator. Good or bad, it’s all on me. If Tenderheart weren’t at school right now, I’d make her go in and make me a breakfast sandwich, complaining all the way.

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3 Comments

  1. Gma

    Wow, what a revelation!

  2. I suffer from the same thing! And realize that I need to be strong and just not cave in. Sometimes I’m successful and other times I’m not. My only difference is I only have the one child. I’m just such a take care of everyone type person that I didn’t realize what I was creating – a sometimes very lazy child – until it was too late. Time to get out the big girl panties on my part I guess and just live through the 13 year old angst of being made to do stuff he his totally capable of.

    • It’s so hard! I read an article by a college professor who said a lot of the kids he sees have no ability to fill out simple paperwork because their parents have done it for them, and I’m a huge offender of that. I feel like my house is one big crash course of everything before my oldest leaves! Sounds like no fun.

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